Mumbai residents to upkeep govt hospital on their own

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Mumbai residents to upkeep govt hospital on their own

Mumbai - Trend of shramdan (voluntary work) catching up

By C P Surendran

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Published: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:35 PM

The government hospitals in India are doing a great job even under distress. But distress is an understatement. Patients lie in corridors. Doctors work overtime. In summer the heat is unbearable, and the fans provide little relief. In the rains, there are puddles in wards, and water-borne diseases are common among patients. Short supply of medicines is a long standing problem.
The Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Hospital in Vikhroli (East) in Mumbai is one such hospital. It stands there in a piece yet, but just barely. The outside and inside are broken and peeling; there is widespread leakage. The operation theatre is a test of luck for both doctors and patients.
The residents, (Vikhroli Nagarik Manch Residents' Organization ), seeing no initiative from the government to improve the state of affairs, have written a letter to the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking for permission to conduct 'shramdan' ( voluntary work) and repair the hospital on their own.
"When it rains heavily, the hospital administration has to temporarily shut down the operation theatre because of leakage. Staff members constantly complain about leakage in the medicine store as well. We visited the men's general ward on Sunday evening and saw water collected there," said Pravin Yadav of the residents' body.
But this is only a part of the problem. Quite frequently, concrete and other materials fall from the roofs and walls. "Chunks of plaster and concrete fall from the roof. The structure is in bad shape. We have to clean the mess when it collapses. We have requested our seniors in the hospital to undertake urgent repairs," a nurse said.
The hospital has a capacity of around 100 beds and caters to patients from the eastern suburbs. Very often the beds are shared.  Although the government at the Centre and the BMC set aside each year substantial amounts for hospital maintenance, not much comes in their way.
In a written response to the Vikhroli Nagarik Manch, the hospital's chief medical officer said: "The hospital's repairs are under review by the Health Infrastructure Cell (HIC). The budget proposal has been made and it will take some time to complete the tender process. Repairs will start after the tender process is completed." The residents believe that they should not wait for the normal procedure which so far has yielded little result, and that they must take care of the hospital on their own.
This is in keeping with the new trend of citizen's initiative in Mumbai. A couple of months ago residents had come together and cleaned the filthy Versova beach, which is now in fine condition



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